Mom & Dad loved books! They instilled in my brothers and me a love of reading. Since we moved a lot, "things" were constantly sorted and tossed. When we returned home from Guam, space was a premium so items that were brought back were carefully considered. Even though I have very few things from my growing up years, I still have a lot of my books from childhood.
When Mom & Dad gave us books, they would write in the front of them. Sometimes it was a note about me or why they wanted to give this particular book. Sometimes it was just a date and occasion (Birthday, Christmas, etc). When they received books if the giver hadn't written in the front they would write who it was from, the date and occasion.
It was common for us to discuss books when we got together. I remember when we all vacationed together for Mom & Dad's 50th wedding anniversary we were sitting around one evening and Dad asked if we had read any good books lately. That opened up a long and lively book discussion. I remembered thinking later, I wonder how many families discuss books on a vacation?
Just last December we were all together for my grandmother's funeral. We were sitting around the motel room in Poplar Bluff, Mo and Dad said, "What book are you reading now?" We took turns going around the room talking about our latest book.
It was very interesting in going thru their things to see the books, who gave them and when, etc. It really brought home to me how important books were to them. It wasn't just the idea of having a book to put on the coffee table or bookshelf either. It was what they could learn from them. They read them. They underlined and highlighted them. They lent them to others. They referred back to them in a study or while writing an article or Sunday School lesson.
Their lives were like that. So very useful. Worth keeping around to go back to in order to learn more from them. A great resource! So many times, my kids, brothers, nieces, nephews, and I (and I'm sure countless others) would pick up the phone or e-mail a question - something we were trying to figure out, or for advice with a problem. It could be anything from a question about Scripture to a recipe. If Mom & Dad didn't have the answer, they would work to find out. Always the advice was sound.
I miss not being able to run things by them anymore but I am grateful for the wealth of knowledge they instilled in me. And I am grateful for the example of their lives, just one of which was to never stop learning. Until the very end, they both read voraciously and studied with intensity.
Lord, never let me think I have learned enough! Keep me hungering and thirsting for more of you and your infinite wisdom!
Psalm 27:4-5 The Message
I'm asking God for one thing,
only one thing:
To live with him in his house
my whole life long.
I'll contemplate his beauty;
I'll study at his feet.
That's the only quiet, secure place
in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,
far from the buzz of traffic.